Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Make Your Rice Right: Cooking Rice the French Way

I love rice. Growing up, I ate more Minute Rice than a lifetime allotment, because it was Pennsylvania in the 70's & 80's and no one knew that rice was something that could be awesome. And not so, uh, minutey.

My confession is this: I make terrible rice. Not terrible sushi rice (at which I kick tush), but just terrible regular old rice. Basmati, Jasmine, Brown -- doesn't matter.

It could be my complete lack of patience, or maybe even my stupid ceramic top stove, but there's something about the ratios, simple as they may be, and the heat, and the pot, and well, I just kind of check out on the whole process. Mostly because, one of the very first things I learned at my fancy French Cooking School in New York City was how to cook rice the French way. It changed how I cook.

You ready for me to tell you my fancy-pants rice-cooking ways?

It's this simple: Cook your rice the way you would cook pasta.

You heard me; the way you cook pasta. Think of a nice pot of boiling, salted water (no, you don't have to measure it, just use a bunch, the way you would to cook pasta), then toss in your rice.

Cook white rice (Jasmine, Basmati, etc.) for 13 minutes and brown rice for 34 minutes at a slow boil (the way you would cook pasta), then drain in a colander.

That's it. You'll have individual grains of perfectly cooked rice, ready to go. And yes, I promise this works. I've been cooking rice this way for almost 17 years, and I haven't messed-up a pot yet.

And yup, you're welcome. :)


Lola said...

The way I cook rice - I keep it proportional. 1 cup rice to 1 cup liquid (usually chicken broth), a little bit more for basmati rice. First I put in the liquid, add some salt and a bit of butter and get it boiling, then put in the rice and turn down to medium-low and let it cook for about 10 minutes, till the liquid has been absorbed. I never drain in colander - it's all been cooked out by then.

Been doing this since I was tasked with preparing rice as a child. Never failed me (well, except when I forget to turn down from High).

Chef Christine said...

That's the way most folks do it, which is one of the reasons I love cooking it like pasta. Either is going to work fine for you. If you want to flavor the rice (cooking in broth), proportional is totally the way to go. If you're looking just to get it cooked, the pasta way is awesome. Thanks for taking the time to comment!

Monica Pileggi said...

Just discovered your web site. Read through several pages and found your 'french way' to cook rice. I just made some for a cold salad and it came out great!


Monica Pileggi